If Arsenal want Massimiliano Allegri to be their next permanent manager then they are going to have to wait until the summer because the former Juventus manager says he won’t return before then.
In a lengthy interview with Corriere della Serra, Allegri was categorical when asked when he would return to football.
“Next season,” he replied. “Not before.”
Just before that, he was speaking on other subjects and one passage caught my eye. He was asked, I think, if he was displaying that ‘old philosopher’s disease’ as he waxed lyrical about football being a world of professors. “If the philosophers are good, why not?,” he said.
“The problem is the result, that is reality. Do you get it or not? I don’t even have a computer at home, just use the iPhone like a phone. But if I watch soccer I know what I see. And a thousand ideas are born to me.”
Even if Arsenal could persuade him to come back into the game mid-season and put his reputation on the line with a side that is playing like a team that has encountered football for the first time this season, there are still said to be plenty of doubts on both sides.
Arsenal are believed to be concerned with the lack of effort he made to speak English in his interview, although that didn’t seem to bother them with Unai Emery. But they are also said to see him as the man to fix their defence. I’m not even sure God himself could do that at this point, but, you never know.
Allegri, for his part, allegedly feels a bit put out by how he was treated at his interview and has doubts over the quality of the players at the club. A close friend, however, says he wants to work abroad next. Allegri also reportedly wants to bring nine people with him, all of whom would require paying while we dish out severance packages to those we have to sack to make room.
None of that seems like it could be sorted out quickly.